Protecting Yourself As A Pedestrian
The number of pedestrians has been continually increasing throughout California for several reasons, including an effort to be greener, avoiding congested traffic and avoiding parking problems. The increase in people choosing to skip the drive is a good thing, especially for the environment, but unfortunately, the downside is that the number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents has been steadily increasing as well.
What Is Comparative Fault?
When pedestrian accidents occur, the defendant drivers and their insurance companies often argue that the pedestrian was at fault or at least partly at fault. And sometimes, injured pedestrians even wonder if they were in fact, partially at fault. The truth is that California pedestrian law can be a little complicated depending on the circumstances of the accident, however, even if a pedestrian was partially at fault, he or she is not barred from recovering from the defendant driver.
California comparative fault law generally provides that a plaintiff who is partially at fault for the accident may recover from a defendant who is also at fault and the plaintiff’s recovery will be reduced by the percentage of his or her fault. For example, if a plaintiff pedestrian was 10% at fault for a pedestrian accident in which she suffered $300,000 in injuries and the driver defendant was 90% at fault, the plaintiff’s $300,000 would be reduced by her 10% fault and she would be awarded $270,000.
Insurance Companies Are Notoriously Difficult
Insurance companies can be very difficult when it comes to pedestrian accidents. If you are contacted by a driver’s insurance company, you do not have to speak with them and it is a good idea if you do not speak with them until you have consulted with an attorney. Insurance companies are contacting you with an agenda and it is not to check on your well-being. They may contact you to get your version of the story, but they are also hoping that you will make statements that they can use against you in order to reduce the defendant’s liability.
They also may offer you a settlement, but they have designed that settlement offer with the goal of settling quickly and for as little as possible. Knowing the value of your claim is critical when negotiating with insurance companies and that is why an experienced pedestrian accident attorney is critical to see that you receive a full and fair recovery in any settlement offer that you may accept.
Other Types Of Pedestrian Accidents
Not all pedestrian accidents involve motor vehicles. Some pedestrian accidents may include pedestrians being struck by an electric scooter, skateboarder, or falling debris from construction sites or building windows. Other accidents may involve dangerous conditions and poor maintenance on sidewalks and crosswalks.
If you have been involved in any type of pedestrian accident, contact a pedestrian accident attorney at The Hayes Law Firm to schedule a consultation. Our attorneys are advocates for pedestrians and want to see that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Walking down the street or crossing a road can be dangerous. To protect their safety, pedestrians in California are required to watch out for motorists who neglect traffic rules.
Pedestrian accidents as usually associated with life-altering injuries and deaths because pedestrians are the least protected group of people on our roads. Most of the time, a car driver is held responsible for hitting a pedestrian, but sometimes a pedestrian may share liability for the accident.
If the other party is trying to shift the blame onto you, do not hesitate to discuss your case with us at The Hayes Law Firm. Do not let the negligent car driver escape liability or pay you less than you deserve.
Can A City In Southern California Be Sued For A Pedestrian Accident?
Although about 80% of pedestrian accidents are caused by the driver of the vehicle that struck the pedestrian, there are many collisions where the poor design of the road or the location of the crosswalk causes or contributes to a pedestrian’s injury or death.
Generally, the city government and their affiliated agencies are responsible for not only maintaining public crosswalks but also designing public roads and highways. If a crosswalk or road is designed or constructed in a way that puts the safety of pedestrians at risk, the injured pedestrian may be able to bring forth a claim against the city or another government entity.
Talk with a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer at The Hayes Law Firm to help determine fault in your particular accident. Let our lawyers investigate your case to find out whether there could be a problem with the crosswalk.
Can I Still Sue The Other Driver If I Was Not In A Crosswalk?
If your pedestrian accident occurred when you were not in a crosswalk, you might think that you will be barred from recovering damages. However, this is not necessarily the case. “Even if you were jaywalking or crossing the street outside of a crosswalk, the other motorist who caused you injury still had a duty of care to exercise due care and be reasonably vigilant for pedestrians,” says our experienced pedestrian accident lawyer.
Each case is unique, which is why sometimes drivers can be sued for pedestrian injuries even when the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk at the time of the collision.
Can I Recover Damages In A Pedestrian Accident If I Was Partially To Blame?
California is one of the pure comparative negligence states, which entitles persons to recover damages even if they were partially responsible for their injury. Therefore, for example, if you were not in a crosswalk at the time of your pedestrian accident, you can still obtain compensation proportional to the negligent driver’s percentage of fault.
For example, if a motorist was distracted at the time of the collision, which makes him or her 30% at fault while the percentage of your fault for crossing outside a crosswalk is deemed 70%. As a result, you could be awarded $500,000 for your injury, which would then be reduced by 70% for a final award of $150,000.